Recording and Production News
Prism Sound's ADA-8XR beats at the heart of Grammy-nominated James Towler's set-upCambridge, UK: James Towler has certainly had a busy year! Renowned as Steve Winwood and Wincraft Studios' Front of House, Studio and Tour Manager, 2009 kicked off with Towler being presented with the Recording Engineer of The Year Award by The Music Producers Guild, and closed with his work on Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood's 'Live From Madison Square Garden' picking up another MPG nomination and two Grammy nominations as well. As he points out, that's only eight less than Beyonce...
James Towler and the ADA-8XR
On top of that he's also spent the last year upgrading Wincraft's entire recording chain, covering everything from mic to monitor. And one of his key purchases was a new Prism Sound ADA-8XR multichannel converter, which replaced his Digidesign 192 I/O box.
"The clock inside the Prism Sound makes the sound much more focused and makes it much easier to pinpoint problem frequencies," he says. "It's just a great converter to fulfil my core need of an AD and DA. I use it direct to my speakers, I use it for recording key instruments when I cut live, I use it for insert effect and dynamics in mixing - it's become key to my work process."
The award-winning ADA-8XR is a precision A/D D/A converter that operates at sampling rates up to 192kHz. The unit can be configured in numerous ways using plug-in modules to suite a wide variety of applications. (Towler's unit is an 8 channel model configured for use with pro Tools, though he says he will be adding the AES/EBU option shortly). As well as with Pro Tools, the ADA-8XR can also act as a high resolution interface for a wide range of other popular Digital Audio Workstations including Logic, Cubase, Nuendo and others.
Since its release the ADA-8XR has rapidly become the top professionals' converter of choice in the most exacting applications in music and sound recording, mastering, broadcast and post production, offering the cleanest and most transparent conversion on the market. For Towler, another advantage was the speed and ease with which he was able to fit it into the Wincraft set-up.
"It just slotted straight in to the studio," he says. "I have the Pro Tool HD card fitted and have had no problems as it just shows up as a 192!"
So far, Towler has used the converter on a number of projects including recordings for Mary Leay, Mali Latino, Jim Lockey, and Miss P amongst others. And Towler is more than happy with its performance.
"It's great," he says. "I am able to get more of a stereo spread and more depth. I have recently pulled up a project I mixed for Steve Winwood in 2003 and rebalanced the mixes and also used a Summing Box from Leif Mases at Maselec. The results were fantastic and we are now thinking of re-doing the whole album.
"In fact," he concludes, "the only thing better than one ADA-8XR would be two of them!"
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